British Standards Institution launches all-new Kitemark for Customer Service

Business standards company the British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched the BSI Kitemark for Customer Service. The Kitemark has been developed to help consumers easily identify organisations that are proven to deliver an excellent customer service experience, as well as helping deserving businesses to stand out in their specific marketplace.

As industries become more competitive and crowded, so consumer expectation continues to rise. Poor customer service cost businesses £37 billion in 2016, which demonstrates the significant impact it can have on an organisation’s success. This means that demonstrating the ability to provide excellent customer service is vital for those businesses that wish to grow and prosper over the long-term. The BSI Kitemark for Customer Service has been designed to help address this very issue.

The BSI Kitemark requires an organisation or department to undergo rigorous and independent assessment and witness testing to make sure it meets the relevant British and International Standards. Any organisation can apply for the BSI Kitemark regardless of the nature of the business, its size, service or location, as long as the company concerned does have a service element.

Rising customer expectations

Maureen Sumner Smith, chief operating officer for Europe at BSI, said: “Delivering excellent customer service has never been more important to businesses. With rising customer expectations and the growing trend for sharing experiences through social media, companies are under increasing scrutiny and so face mounting pressure to demonstrate higher service levels.”

Sumner Smith continued: “Many companies are already delivering exceptional customer service. However, by having their organisation independently assessed on a regular basis as part of the BSI Kitemark process, they can prove to their customers their commitment to high levels of customer experience, particularly as the Kitemark is awarded based on results, not just intent.”

In conclusion, Sumner Smith stated: “The BSI Kitemark is a symbol that around 70% of the British public recognises. It’s one that continues to provide millions of Britons with comfort, trust, security and knowledge about the safety and reliability of everyday products. Now it’s time that its authority was applied to the wider customer satisfaction arena.”

Demonstrating competence against BS 8477

The assessment involves organisations or departments demonstrating their competency against BS 8477: 2014 Code of Practice for Customer Service, ISO 10002:2014 Quality Management – Customer Satisfaction Guidelines for Complaints Handling in Organisations and ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems as well as validation of the organisation’s customer service feedback metrics or Net Promoter Score.

In addition to an organisation’s typical regime of monitoring and audits, in order to earn the BSI Kitemark the organisation or department under scrutiny will be subject to further independent and regular evaluations and assessment. Importantly, if customer service levels are not maintained, the BSI Kitemark will be revoked until such point that any identified flaws are rectified.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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